Peptic Ulcer Disease
Ulcers, the basis of peptic ulcer disease, are erosions (wearing away or corrosion) in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. (The duodenum is the first part of the small intestines, which connects to the stomach.) An ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer. An ulcer in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer. Together, ulcers of the stomach and duodenum are referred to as peptic ulcers and a person who has peptic ulcers is said to have peptic ulcer disease.
Most cases of peptic ulcer disease involve ulcers that are erosions of the first layer of the inner lining. If the hole goes all the way through, this is called a perforation of the intestinal lining. This can cause shock and is a medical emergency.